PERCEPTIONS OF RURAL INDIA
Rural respondents said the Modi government's attitude towards migrant workers during the lockdown was good.
- Two fifths respondents said the lockdown was too harsh and another two-fifths thought it was adequately harsh
- Despite all the lockdown hardships, 60 per cent respondents opined that the Modi government cares about both the rich and the poor
- 73 per cent or over seven out of ten respondents interviewed in rural areas of the country said Modi government’s attitude towards migrant workers during the lockdown had been good (29 per cent said very good and 44 per cent rated it as good).
- Households located in the red and orange zone were far more likely to view the lockdown as having been too harsh (49 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively) as compared to those located in the green districts where only one third (36 per cent) thought so.
On March 25, India went in for a nationwide lockdown, which was extended a couple of times, to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
This COVID-19 lockdown, possibly the longest in any country, disrupted the lives and livelihoods of millions.
In a first-of-its-kind national survey, Gaon Connection interviewed rural residents to understand the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on their lives and livelihoods in rural India. We also interviewed people to capture their perceptions towards both the central government and the state. This survey, conducted across 179 districts in 23 states of the country, has thrown up some important findings.
Almost 40 per cent of the respondents said that the lockdown had been too harsh whereas 38 per cent saw it as being adequately harsh.
A plurality perceived the lockdown to be too severe. And this perception was found to be strongest in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.
The perception that the lockdown was too harsh was found to be far greater (52 per cent) among those respondents who reported that their work had come to a ‘complete standstill’ than those whose work was less badly affected by the lockdown.
The lockdown doesn’t seem to have adversely impacted people’s perception about the Modi government at the Centre, or the governments in the states on the whole.
Despite the government/s facing a lot of flak from various quarters for mishandling the migrant crisis during the lockdown, people do not seem to be as critical of them. For instance, on being asked a simple question about whether the Modi government’s attitude towards migrant workers during the lockdown had been good or bad, 73 per cent or over seven out of ten respondents interviewed in rural areas of the country said it had been good (29 per cent said very good and 44per cent rated it as good).
Only 23 per cent or around one of every four were of the opinion that the lockdown had been bad (9 per cent very bad and 14 per cent bad).
The state governments on the whole were rated equally positively, in fact slightly more than the Centre, with 76 per cent describing their attitude towards migrants as good and only 20 per cent rating it as bad.